When I was in Iceland this month, I picked up a book of Icelandic Sagas, the stories from the 8th-11th century that chronicle the population of the island and the deeds of the families involved. Being me, my first thought was, "Wow, this could make a cool basis for a sci-fi story!"
The layout of the Viking world makes it tailor-made for such a thing. First off, most locations are simply farms. There are few cities or towns. Second, travel between them is mostly by boat. Converting that world to one of small asteroid-based settlements connect by spaceship is a very small jump. Each ruler of an area would be the largest asteroid in a small cluster of vassal rocks.
Obviously, my world names and such may change, but right now, I'm thinking in terms of this:
- The North Belt - The largest concentration of settlements. At the start of the story, it is in the process of being unified under one ruler.
- The Ice Belt - Newly colonized and somewhat remote. Attractive to those escaping politics in the North Belt, or those simply looking to make a fresh start.
- The Green Belt - The outer limits of settlements, although explorers have found a planet beyond it.
- Umbria - A planet further in-system than the belts. Rough and tumble by the standards of the in-system planets, still considered soft and easy pickings by the belt-dwellers. Often raided for materials and slaves, although some belt-dwellers have found riches serving as warriors for the agricultural centers on the planet.
- There are more systems closer to the sun that are highly populated and civilized, but they won't be detailed in this first pass.
The Old Norse word for port or harbor is "Vik", and many believe that is the source of the word "Viking" - Basically, to go to ports for goods (often raiding, but sometimes trade.)
For my story, given asteroids as the settlements, I'm going to use the term "Rock" and "Rocking" in much the same way. Rockers are those who leave their homes to search for treasure and slaves and glory.
Visually, I decided to start this one with characters, which is a little different from my usual methodology. I've been taking traditional Norse costumes and silhouettes and trying to update them to a tech look without losing their design language. Here are a couple of the ones I've done so far:
Here's the first of the women I've tried - I think they may change more from the historical, as I have no interest in creating a "Man's World" story, and actual medieval Norse women's garb isn't that suited to deeds of adventure.
Obviously, these are just sketches to get my brain thinking, and not finished works of art, or even concept art.
I am enjoying the process, and I'm going to start thinking about specific characters and locations from the original saga, and how to translate them into a tech story. Thanks for following along!